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Editorial Winter School 2014 Ignite Our Light Pathways to Success Shifting our Narratives to one of Educational Success Science Winter School Fires Students Up to Study Medicine Our Future Teachers Faculty of Law Indigenous Students Visit RBA Head Office ASB Community Forum Winter School Formal Dinner Bill Buckley Heading for the Major League University life is such a great journey Supervisor’s reflection Prosperity more than just economics World Indigenous Legal Conference PCYC Nations of Origin ASPIRE Home Work Centre in Condoblin Walama Trivia Night
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UNSW CRICOS Provider Code: 00098G | ABN: 57 195 873 179 Balnaves Place – Home of Nura Gili was made possible thanks to a generous donation from The Balnaves Foundation, a private philanthropic organisation established in 2006 by Neil Balnaves AO to provide support to charitable enterprises across Australia.
Global financial services firm UBS has committed to a major investment in support of Indigenous programs at UNSW
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This month’s editions shares stories from the often transformational experience for participants students, alumni and staff alike during UNSW Indigenous Winter School - Nura Gili’s residential program run in conjunction with UNSW Faculties for Indigenous High school students in years ten, eleven and twelve. As Cheryl Ah See Nura Gili’s Winter School Coordinator reflects: “The impact the Winter School has on a young person’s life is indescribable and the feeling Nura Gili staff get from being part of that, is something really, really special. The supervisors in the program bonded with the students and it was obvious that some strong friendships were created amongst the participants – friendships that will last a lifetime. Some of these high school students will hopefully return to study at UNSW one day, while others will attend universities closer to home and that’s okay. As long as they walk away knowing that they’ve got what it takes to succeed, then we’ve done our job.” Stories sharing the integrity, tenacity and capacities of our students and Alumni are weaved throughout this edition and have also been seen more widely in mainstream press recently such as this article in the Australian with Lowanna Moran: http://www.aief.com.au/cms/workspace/uploads/140712-aus-50th-lowanna-moran-1.pdf Interviews with both George Brown and Peter Cooley also featured recently in the Daily Telegraph and The Australian respectively, sharing how they are utilising their skills and acumen in business, management, entrepreneurship, social enterprise and community development as drivers to build together with their communities’ opportunities to create greater independence and prosperity. A theme that was further explored during Winter School for participants who attended the Community Forum. Here participants had the opportunity to contribute directly to City of Sydney’s www.prosperitytalk.net.au a series of consultations to find out what economic prosperity means for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who live, work and play in our Local Government Area in Sydney. Prosperity Talk is facilitated by Five Grants Consulting including three UNSW Indigenous alumni acting as Roving Champions: Terri Janke, Damian Shannon and George Brown. In addition to Winter School, NAIDOC week here at UNSW included presentations on the latest developments in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research by Kirby Institute, UNSW; upadtes about developments in their research in critical health areas can be found here: kirby.unsw.edu.au/sites/default/files/hiv/attachment/NAIDOC%20booklet%209%20July%202014.pdf On a personal note, as someone who lives with Type 1 Diabetes, I am particularly moved by Teela Reid’s story: her commitment, to help find a much needed cure to combat diabetes. Teela is currently in her second year of the JD program here with the Faculty of Law, UNSW Read more and find out how you can contribute: http://bsrf2014.gofundraise.com.au/page/TeelaReid Enjoy all the stories in this month’s edition traversing far and wide and I hope on reading this month’s edition you also begin to feel renewed and ready to embrace all the new challenges that await us. For those of us here at Nura Gili and UNSW they have already begun with week one of Semester two. Rebecca Harcourt, Editor
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Winter school changed my life, I went from being a shy little girl hiding under her shell to a girl that actually got up and did a speech in front of everyone. I'm now a confident person! Thankyou Winter School, you have made my life a lot easier!! Shey Cooper Year 12, Grafton: Winter School 2014 wasn't what I expected. I made friends, I learnt a lot to help me with my future, and I was able to make memories that I'll be able to keep forever. Jennifer Bismire year 12 Business faculty, Cronulla
Journey of a thousand miles A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Breaking from benevolent cultures Escaping the ethical lifestyles of drugs and alcohol Tracking closely to Perkins' desire Creating an innovative world seeking utopia All minds swifting to one One beaming light of innovative intellect We sway our heads towards the sky The outlooks of each others mind As we falare increasing ecstasies One loving the minority Consisting or minute fear We charge in the thousands Being one crew Forget being secrete We're gonna scream the world And we're not afraid As we aim for the moon And we know even if we miss We will land with the stars By Carl Williams year 11, Tea Gardens
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On the sixth of July I pulled up to the University Of New South Wales New College Dorms where I began my first moments with the Nura Gili Winter school program. I was uncertain of what to expect however immensely excited. Attending the Winter School program gave me the opportunity to open my eyes and see what it would be and feel like to attend university as well as have ongoing support that meets your needs both academically and culturally. My chosen faculty was ‘Social Work’ where we undertook Uni lectures, as well as identified all the different areas there is to social work and ensuring the importance of being authentic. Day one of faculty work we were given the chance to meet and greet as well as be taught by inspirational Indigenous lecturer Sue Green, who shared her story and allowed us to feel a sense of belonging in and outside of room. From case work to caring for those with disabilities to child protection, advocating and protecting young people’s rights to implementing policy and legislation we learnt that there are many areas in which we can further extend our passion for wanting to be social workers. After three full incredible days of undergoing social work lecturers, we were also given the opportunity to undertake a beautiful formal night with special guest and performances, such as the talented Ryhan Clapham, learn the importance of ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’ taught by, Bill Buckley, enjoy delicious food, and showcase individual talents through performances of faculty groups, and of course ‘Ignite Our light’. I would personally like to acknowledge all the lecturers who gave up their time to teach us, the whole of Nura Gili staff who committed themselves to ensuring everyone felt welcomed, UNSW support networks, my twelve other incredible social work group, Ashley Finegan and Patrick Goulding for guiding and supervising us daily and the fellow ninety other strangers that turned into friends and from friends that turned into family. If there’s one thing I have taken away from this experience is the importance of staying true to your values, and simply igniting that light and empowering your talents for the common good. As I continue my final term of high school and be the first in both my families to go past year nine, I will follow my gut and continue to embrace my values, further my studies after year 12, and dedicate myself to studying Social Work and Indigenous Health with the hope of studying at the University Of New South Wales and continue to guiding and supporting young people in my community. Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts.
Left: Winter School 2014 participants
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Winter School 2014 participants with Nura Gili Michael Peachey Head of Student Support & Nura Gili Winter School Supervisors
When I first walked into a room full of people on that Sunday afternoon, I never could have imagined the bonds and memories I would make over the next five days. To me they were people who the only thing I knew we had in common was our Aboriginality. Little did I know that would walk away at the end of the week and tell people that it was the best week of my life. I speak for most of us when i say that we are not morning people. However, I also know that we all would love to wake up just one more time to a â€˜shoutyâ€™, but looking back on it somehow comforting, rendition of 'Firework' and talk over hot or cold breakfasts. Setting off for our day, sporting matching hoodies, name tags and bags, friendship blossomed from the very first day. Some memorable experiences being excursions and subway lunches! Or if you were in social work the spiny, wheeley chairs that have an attached desk. Everyone left with a taste of their faculty and a feel for UNI life. Events such as dressing up to look spiffy for the Formal Dinner and breaking it down in a supervisor vs. students dance battle only strengthened the bond between us all. The Nura Gili staff and our supervisors became our friends and in a very short space of time, we became a family. On our final day I realised how wrong I had been on that very first day. Leaving everyone on our last day was much harder than we ever thought it would be. Through sadness and tears we left one by one by the glass doors, and inside all of us knew that we had made friends for life, we are all now part of a family with an incredibly strong bond. When I walked in on the first day I didn't believe them when they told me I would make connections for life, but boy was I wrong. So thank you to everyone who was part of the 2014 Winter School. Staff, supervisors, and of course my new found family: the participants. You helped make that week one of the best experiences of my life and I wish you all luck in the future. Eloise Callingham Year 10, Morpeth, Darkinjung Woman
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Left Letitia Porter
Letitia Porter now in her first year shared with 2014 Winter School students how her participation in Nura Gili’s Winter School and Pre-Programs cultivated her motivation to study at UNSW. I am from Qurindi and part of the Kamilaroi Tribe. I grew up in a small Aboriginal community called Walhallow which had about 150 people. It’s been a big adjustment moving to Sydney and away from my family to study Commerce here at the Australian School of Business (ASB), UNSW. Going through programs such as this one has made that process much easier. Two years ago I was in the same position as all of you. I applied for Winter School in year 11 after much encouragement from my sister who had also been to Winter School a few years earlier and is now studying at UNSW. At that stage I had no idea what I wanted to do after school, just that I wanted to go to university and so Winter School seemed like a good opportunity to explore my options. I was accepted into the business program and after a week doing simulations- such as role playing job interviews, making up products to market and pitching business ideas, I decided that I wanted to study a Bachelor of Commerce at UNSW. Winter School gave me a good general idea of what the course would involve and more importantly the opportunities that were available from both UNSW and Nura Gili. I was much more motivated at school after this because I now had something to focus on and I knew what marks I would need to study Commerce at ASB. During Winter School we were also told about another program that Nura Gili runs in conjunction with faculties- UNSW Indigenous Pre Programs. This is a month long program and an alternative entry pathway into UNSW. In year 12 I applied for the UNSW Indigenous Pre-Program in Business and was lucky enough to get in. I came to Sydney for the program a few weeks after finishing my HSC exams and it was one of the most valuable experiences I have had. As you’re doing the actual work from the degree course during Pre-programs you know what to expect and how hard you’ll have to study in your degree. You’re also being taught by the lecturers that you will most likely come into contact with at some stage during your degree. There was a lot of hard work that went into Pre-programs. Classes ran from 9am to 5pm and on top of that there were assessments to do, exams to study for and tutorials every second day. I also did this whilst most of my friends were at schoolies. Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 7
However coming into my first year after being offered a place from Pre-programs I realised that we had a massive advantage over other people starting the same degree. We had already covered the first few weeks of lecture material and knew a lot of the lecturers. I also knew which areas I was interested in which made choosing subjects much easier. This took a lot of stress off when I was enrolling for the first time. Pre-programs made the transition from high school to university much simpler. This wasn’t just in terms of work. During winter school and Pre-programs I met people that I’m at UNSW with now and are some of my best friends. It’s a lot easier to move away from home when you know that you already have friends down here. I have just finished my first semester at UNSW and it was the hardest but most rewarding and fun fourteen weeks especially living at campus at college. Nura Gili, both the staff and other students have been the biggest help right from winter school through to my first semester. If I’ve ever needed help I knew that I could go to Nura Gili. They provide us with such a supportive environment and give us access to a study place and resources that most other students don’t have access too. Through the ITAS scheme Nura Gili provide tutoring for all our of our subjects throughout the degree at no cost to us, which is a major advantage. All of these factors played a big part in my decision to study at UNSW. I had the opportunity to see the Indigenous support units at other universities but none of them made the effort that Nura Gili did with their students. They go above and beyond for all us and they are a great group of people to be involved with. They give you the best chance to be successful. During my first semester they have given me the chance to go networking events and make important contacts and they always ensure we are aware of these events and actually help us to get there. The most important thing I want to get across is that you should take full advantage of opportunities that Nura Gili make available. And while it has been hard work to get where I am, it’s been so much fun going through winter school and Pre Programs and getting to meet everyone from Nura Gili. The hard work does pay off both at school and these programs and it is definitely worth it in the end. It’s so important that you get involved and participate in the activities this week and ask as many questions as you can. Enjoy the rest of the week I’m sure it will be one of the bets of your life. Letitia Porter.
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“… Today we congratulate the 2014 UNSW Indigenous Winter School participants on their successful completion of the program. We congratulate them and we celebrate with them. I acknowledge the immense pride they must be feeling right now, and I am sure many parents in the audience today also feel this immense sense of pride. The theme for this year’s Winter School is ‘Ignite your light and let it shine’. UNSW Indigenous Winter School has been running now for 12 years. It provides Indigenous high school students in years 10, 11 and 12 with a unique opportunity to experience campus life, to meet new people and to confirm or not, their interest or passion for studying within a particular discipline or faculty. I believe Winter School also plays a much more significant role in helping to break down and in many cases, refute the community narrative that says ‘university is not achievable for Indigenous people’. Indeed many of the students in the Indigenous Studies Faculty Group this week recited some of those narratives; narratives they have often heard in their communities. Left Dr Reuben Bolt
Earlier this week, I delivered an identity lecture, and in that lecture I spoke about the importance of Aboriginality and how we learn an identity through a process of socialization to develop a life story. I suggested that as we get older, we become immersed in a range of cultures at various locations, and this becomes to inform our logic. And for students who come to university for the first time, they become exposed to a new culture; a culture where they are expected to draw on new ideas, new principles and perhaps new values. They are expected to demonstrate an understanding of this new knowledge through assessment and in accordance with the conventions of the University. It is here that they are required to reconcile discipline specific knowledge with the community knowledge they bring. When exposed to this new culture, they also become exposed to a new narrative; a narrative that tells them university is achievable; that the Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Unit is well equipped to support Indigenous students; that they should ignite their light, and let it shine. It seems perfectly logical to me, that if you continually tell someone the same thing over and over they begin to believe it. So instead of reciting the narrative that ‘Koori’s don’t go to uni’, or that ‘we haven’t got what it takes’, let’s develop a new narrative of Indigenous educational success. Your attendance here today makes a contribution to this newly developing narrative. We’ve come a long way since 1966 when Charles Perkins, the first person of Aboriginal heritage graduated with a Bachelor degree. While this was important for writing Indigenous peoples into the history books, it was perhaps most significant for proving that Indigenous people could succeed educationally. It also played a major role in invigorating Indigenous people’s desire to attain tertiary qualifications. This is one story of success. Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 9
Last night at the formal dinner we heard other stories of success from former Winter School participants who are now current UNSW Indigenous students and/or graduates who have returned to give back and make a contribution to this valuable program. I thank them for that. Just this weekend, I stumbled onto another story of success when I was flicking through the Sydney Telegraph. The paper had a write up about one of our recent graduates - George Brown who is a member of the Wreck Bay Aboriginal community. George is now employed at Indigenous Business Australia. Seeing the photo of George in a mainstream newspaper made me very proud. It also made me realise that George’s dedication to his studies, and his perseverance and persistence is helping to inform the new narrative about Indigenous tertiary educational success. His story was inspiring. So forget the narrative that tells us “University study is not attainable”, let’s talk the narrative that tells us “failure is not acceptable”. I believe that if we change this narrative within the Indigenous community it will become a social norm, and result in many of our future Indigenous students completing the best degrees Australia has to offer. I know that many Indigenous young people to this day do not consider university study a realistic option. However, Winter School is a program that provides a window of opportunity to get students talking about ‘attendance’. I therefore would like to acknowledge the monumental step taken by the Winter School participants last Sunday when they made the trip from their home communities to UNSW. While some live locally, others have made the trip across the country. Their decision to come to Winter School has provided them with an opportunity to immerse themselves in the tertiary education experience, immerse themselves in a culture of academic achievement, and it has well and truly opened doors for them to complete tertiary education study. To our participants graduating from Winter School today I say this. By coming to the UNSW Indigenous Winter School program you have actively taken the giant step to changing culture. In addition you are making a contribution to the collective effort to close the educational gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. And I urge you to take these kinds of opportunities with both hands and run with it. It probably won’t be easy. It will take hard work, commitment, perseverance and persistence. However, if you have the passion, if you have the commitment, the determination to succeed in your studies, then ignite the light here today. This is an opportunity for you to write your own history, to further develop your life story. It is here that you can make the decision to ensure higher educational success becomes not only part of the broader narrative, but also a significant part of your life story, and perhaps it may become one of the significant stories that you tell your future grandchildren. I think be selfish, dream big. Figure out what is important to you, and chase the dream. If your passion is medicine, law, social work, education, or any other area, just chase your dream. Congratulations on being here at the 2014 Winter School graduation and I hope to see you in the near future studying a degree you are passionate about.” This is an extract from Dr Reuben Bolt’s speech at UNSW Indigenous Winter School Graduation, Friday 11th July 2014. Dr Reuben Bolt BHS hons, MA, PhD is Deputy Director of Nura Gili Indigenous Programs Unit, UNSW
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UNSW science hosted seven keen Indigenous students as part of the Nura Gili Winter School. The students were able to get a taste of what we have to offer and life offers a UNSW science student. As science is so varied the students attended sessions such as Chemistry, Physics, Psychology and Optometry. Along the way participants were able to meet the great teachers and students we have and learn firsthand the opportunities available at UNSW. It was topped off at the end with a visit to the Powerhouse Museum. Nicole Cooney
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Medicine Winter School participants get ready for suturing session at UNSW
One hundred Indigenous high school students travelled from across Australia last week to take part in UNSW’s Winter School, run by Nura Gili. Winter School gives Indigenous students from around the country the chance to experience UNSW’s academic and campus life. Students got to see first-hand what it’s like to study at UNSW, spending one week in a specific faculty ranging from Business to Visual arts. The slogan for this year’s event was ‘Ignite your fire and let it shine’. UNSW Medicine's Rural Clinical School hosted ten talented high school students with a passion for medicine. They got stuck into a range of activities that gave them an insight into studying medicine, such as plastering, suturing, taking blood pressure, anatomy, microbiology and genetics lab work, and a trip to St Vincent’s Emergency Department. “Winter School has shown us the different pathways into medicine and what we need to do to get into medicine,” said Emily Mason, a Winter School participant and Year 11 Indigenous student from Port Macquarie. “I enjoyed the practical sessions, like suturing and anatomy, the most. These sessions translated what we were learning in theory into real hands-on experiences – we can go on and apply that in real life, and get a sense of what studying medicine is actually like. “The medicine Winter School group was quite small this year. We all became terrific friends – it really was a lovely bunch of people! We’ve built a strong support network, so we can contact each other during the HSC and help each other out,” she said.
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Kerrod Griffiths (seated), in Year 11 from Condobolin NSW, with Zac Stewart, in Year 10 from Sydney, get stuck into a plastering session at St Vincent’s Hospital as part of the 2014
“Before I started Winter School I was really hesitant about what I wanted to study – I had no idea,” said Year 12 Indigenous high school student and Winter School participant, Tiana Edwards. “But now I’ve done all these practical sessions and talked to inspiring med students, and it’s definitely helped me shed light on my future – I’m going to apply for universities in Sydney and go and do medicine.” By the end of the fun and informative week, it was clear from the students’ positive responses that Winter School has empowered them to pursue their academic dreams – truly igniting their fire within. By Joel Katz, Publicity Officer, Rural Clinical School www.rcs.med.unsw.edu.au
Soaking up the rays after spending the morning at St Vincent’s hospital with a tour of the Emergency Department and a plastering session with one of the hospital’s physiotherapists
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The annual UNSW Winter School for Indigenous students organised by Nura Gili is an important event that the School of Education is proud to be involved with. We were excited to have the opportunity of working with ten high school students from New South Wales and Queensland as they learnt about life at University and what it would be like to study Education and become a teacher. The students had the opportunity to participate in a variety of teaching and learning experiences about becoming an inspiring teacher; the different sorts of skills and thinking learners bring to the classroom; motivation and learning as well as using technologies such as movie maker in the classroom. A visit from experienced teacher and artist Robyn Gordon was also an opportunity for learning and teaching in the creative arts, with the students making some unforgettable wearable art. A highlight of the week for all involved was the visit to the Royal National Park. The Jibbon tour was a guided walk that included learning about Aboriginal heritage in and around Sydney. The visit to Tigger’s Honeypot Pre-school was also an interesting and enjoyable experience that was popular for many. This year we also once again invited UNSW education students to volunteer and be involved with the program. These teachers of the future did an excellent job facilitating a number of the workshops, and importantly they also quickly established supportive and friendly relationships with the high school students. One of the mentors, Alena, describes this well, “Mentors shared experiences of university attendance and the participants shared their dreams and thoughts. They were articulate, insightful, and both brave and generous with their ideas. It was a truly wonderful thing to see the participants gain in confidence and watch their ideas grow over the duration of the education faculty workshops.” A big thank-you to: Alena, Farah, Geetu, Jessica, Claire, Lisa, Francesca, Lindsay and Alicia for your contribution. Special thanks also to Aiyana and Corey, who were the Nura Gili appointed supervisors of the group for the week and always contributed enthusiastically. It was a pleasure and privilege to work with a motivated, engaged and happy group of young people during the Winter School. Hopefully some of these aspiring teachers will maintain this enthusiasm and commitment to teaching, and in the next five years or so we will see some of them in schools across Australia. A visit from representatives from the Department of Education and Communities spoke with the students about the excellent scholarship opportunities available for university students and early career teachers, and it would be great to see some take up these opportunities. A special thanks also to Catherine Courtney and the admin team at the School of Education for your support, and a big thanks to Terry Cumming who gave an entertaining and motivating workshop that inspired all present. This year, some of the comments from the Indigenous students included: “I’ve learned even more about how different people learn. I feel this is really important as a teacher and I valued it as the overall most inspiring learning experience” Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 14
“I learnt that teaching isn’t just about sharing your knowledge with a group of students, but shaping individuals understanding and acceptance of the bigger picture” “I thought that the way teachers love to do what they do and why they’re doing it was exciting” “Teaching is so much more than telling someone how to do something, it is inspiring a child and being creative” “The stand out experience was having the mentors with us through the week which was most helpful in allowing us to hear first hand experience that may be a lot like our future in the coming years” Dr Greg Vass, Lecturer First Year Convenor BA BEd Associate Editor for Critical Studies in Education School of Education | Faculty of Arts and Social Science | UNSW
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Bringing together such motivated Indigenous students from all over Australia who want to further their education is really something special and inspiring. As a day supervisor for Winter School this has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had the pleasure of being a part of. It was great having the chance to play a role in the bigger picture of encouraging young like-minded Indigenous students to pursue their dreams and further their education and also to some extent being a mentor to these students, some of whom will be the first in their families to attend university. During the week, I witnessed seven strong young Indigenous women grow in confidence and belief in themselves that they have the abilities to study law at university no matter their background. I have no doubt in their abilities to study at UNSW as I have seen their capabilities throughout the week whilst they participated in various problem solving law scenarios and debates. Their eagerness to learn more about life at university was encouraging and they have inspired me to get more involved in programs such as this to help break down barriers confronting people in coming to university and thinking that maybe it is not for them. The whole Winter School cohort seemed to motivate and inspire each other and they will have made lifelong friends, some of whom they will eventually study with at university where I know they will continue to push and motivate each other into succeeding in their studies; just as I see it among my peers now. I felt like the proud older sister of the students in the Faculty of Law as I watched them graduate. It was sad to say goodbye to them all after the week ended but I know I will see them in the near future. Winter School was a great week and I am so excited to hopefully be part of it again next year. By Tamara Kenny.
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Far Left Jeni Engel with Winter School law participants and far right Tamara Kenny Gilbert & Tobin
I first met Tamara Kenny when she was a timid and uncertain, but obviously very capable Year 12 student, at Winter School 2012. She returned to do the Pre-Law Program at the end of that year and sailed through with flying colours into Law. A Shalom Gamarada scholarship has made it possible for Tamara to live comfortably and happily on campus. Over the past three semesters, Tamara has cemented her academic talents which are reflected in excellent, steadily improving results. Not only does Tamara do well in her studies, but she also has secured herself a Cadetship with Qantas and is actively involved in the Nura Gili community and UNSW Law activities. As a lecturer, I must say there’s a great sense of satisfaction in seeing Tamara, and many others like her, grasp with both hands the opportunities available to Indigenous law students. As a result, they benefit academically and personally, as well as being excellent role models for younger students of just what is possible for them to achieve. I’m very proud of the contribution Tamara made to Winter School this year as a supervisor of the Law group. Her knowledge, maturity, quiet influence and good humour struck a chord with the group and they responded warmly to her. I’ve been very privileged to witness Tamara’s academic and personal growth these past two years, and look forward to seeing more even more progress during the rest of her degree. Tamara has all the makings of a first-rate Indigenous lawyer! By Jeni Engel Director, Indigenous Legal Education, UNSW Law
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Special thank you to Louise Caine, Currency Editor of Reserve Bank of Australia for sharing this article which will be forthcoming in the July issue of Currency, a monthly internal publication of the Reserve Bank of Australiaâ€™. www.rba.gov.au
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The third annual ASB Community Forum was a chance for this year’s Nura Gili Winter School students interested in Business, alongside current students, alumni, staff and invited industry guests to come together and gain a taste of the degree study and industry opportunities at UNSW and as graduates in industry, public sector and social enterprise. With a room full of incredibly successful and distinguished Aboriginal and Torres Strait island people, the forum was fun, informative and truly inspirational. Emceed by Ben Eisokovich and Kimberley Peckham we received warm welcomes and introductions from both ASB Deputy Dean Professor Mark Uncles and Nura Gili’s Head of Student Services, Michael Peachey. This was followed by Rebecca Harcourt Program Manager Indigenous Business Education who together with Alumni Sarah Hyland, from IAA- Indigenous Accountants Australia set the scene and goals of the day. Rebecca then facilitated a series of group activities with specially developed business ‘strength cards’; collaborative exercises that allowed everyone to reflect on their own strengths, stories, personality and experiences within different settings. This was followed by a presentation on www.prosperitytalk.net.au.by two Alumni; Damian Shannon and George Brown, from JHG and IBA respectively. Damian and George encouraged participants to reflect on the many ways ‘Prosperity’ can be interpreted and achieved. The participants’ discussions focused on notions of community, sustainability and equality that contribute to the growth and wealth of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The dialogue reflected the roles and importance that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people play in the future of this city and Australia’s identity. Groups then presented back on their discussions which were recorded, with participants permission and will now directly feedback to www.prosperitytalk.net.au.
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The next session involved participants worked on two accounting and human resource management scenarios reflecting potential activities and issues that may arise in the workplaceâ€”this was both a fun and challenging task! A delicious lunch catered by Jo Wolles, a Koori chef with over 20 yearsâ€™ professional experience now with her own business Goanna Hut was held at Nura Gili. This allowed students and industry experts to chat and get to know each other before a panel discussion in the afternoon. The panel consisted of Trevor Pearce CEO First Nations Foundation; Alumni, Brett Chamberlain from Vodafone; Alannah Scholes from Accor; Mark Wenberg from NSW Department of Finance and Human Services and Alumni Codie Martin from Coca Cola Amatil. With such a formidable group of men and women and each with their own unique story, the panel provided students and alike a chance to feel inspired. It was incredible to hear how each of these industry professionals had found their passion and enjoyed their roles, while still being active in promoting and fighting for Indigenous rights and equality. I thank each of the panel members for sharing their experiences and expertise with us. Education is empowering so it was fitting that the day ended with information on tertiary and professional pathways for Indigenous students. Nura Gili, ASB and UNSW continue to show a commitment to education and empowering Indigenous people to learn and grow in the commercial industry. A huge thanks to Rebecca Harcourt for organising this engaging and thought provoking forum; and for connecting such a wonderful group of people during NAIDOC Week 2014. By Cassi Bennett Cassi is currently an Intern for the Aurora Project at the Indigenous Law Centre, UNSW
Above Below Winter School business students with CEO of Empower Shanil Samarakoon
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One of the highlights of Winter School is the Formal Dinner, this year emceed by Ganur Maynard left and with some of the Winter School participants below.
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above: Nura Giliâ€™s Bill Buckley interviews Alumni Linda Kennedy & students Rhyan Clapham and Ed Hyland 2014 Winter School Formal dinner
Where did you grow up? I was born in Lismore on the Far North Coast region of New South Wales. I went to school there and left when I went to UNE at Armidale to commence tertiary study My clearest memories of my childhood are going to work with my father. He was a truck driver mainly in delivery of kegs of beer to the many local pubs and clubs in Lismore and neighbouring towns. I loved those times when dad would let me go with him. Who were your role models growing up? My role models growing up were my family, my parents, three sisters, two sets of grandparents and countless aunts, uncles and cousins. I was always interested in sport so local footballers including Aboriginal local identities including Bruce Olive who played Rugby League for Australia, Dicky Roberts a relative of our Alicia at Nura Gili were my heroes. You're a passionate advocate, experienced educator - including as a teacher, school Principal, university academic advisor, plus much more, over many years - can you share what first sparked your interest in education and in particular working so closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students? I had an uncle who was a High School teacher and I think that he sparked an interest in teaching. My father had some close friends who were Bundjalung men, including Jimmy Mundine a local sporting legend and Charlie crummy who taught my dad and me how to prune roses. I sensed from a young age that there was something wrong with the way that our first Australians were treated. I was blessed to grow up in a family that was nonracist, particularly in a country region that was known for its history of racism. Can you share some of the different roles and highlights you've had/ experienced including with NSW Dept of education over the years? My roles in education over the years have been varied. I have taught in Primary and Secondary Schools as a classroom teacher, Head Teacher in English and History and School Principal for ten years at Miranda in the Sutherland Shire in Sydney. I also taught in four universities including twenty seven years at UNSW and spent shorter periods Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 23
teaching at TAFE and at Parklea Prison. Included in my teaching was a three year contract at The RAAF School at Butterworth in Malaysia. My highlights have included teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Primary and Secondary schools but the zenith has definitely been in my student support and mentoring at Nura Gili at UNSW and Jumbunna at UTS. You're a great observer and story teller - could you share from your perspective what has been the most positive changes / most impactful changes in relation to education, in particular in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, since you began working in education? The most positive changes that I have experienced in over fifty years of teaching Indigenous students have to do with their increased participation in university level education. We now see a growing critical mass of students, often from rural and remote areas, who are achieving at the highest levels in all the disciplines. The next fifty years will see the full bloom of this flowering. As a father and grandfather yourself you take great care and pride in your family just as you do with your colleagues and students - could you share some of the highlights for you working at Nura Gili? Yes Bec my family is at the core of my life. Coleen and I have been together for over forty eight years and our four children and eight grand- children who range from two weeks to twenty one years are an unending source of happiness for us both. Some of the highlights have included two cultural exchange trips that I organised. These exchanges gave the opportunity to Indigenous performers and artists to share their culture with a wide range of African communities in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. These tours led to follow up visits to Egypt, Jordan, Sinai and Cyprus. Another highlight was a visit to East Timor as a representative of UNSW to assist the re-development of the university in Dilhi after its destruction in the invasion of the city. During this trip I became closely involved in East Timor’s participating in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. That this project was unplanned made it even more special. Working with amazing students and brilliant work colleagues at the grass roots has lit my fire more than all else. A special joy has been to work with Mick Peachey and his wonderful partner Cheryl. I taught them both in their first year at university and then to work with them both as colleagues at Nura Gili, and more recently, in Mick’s case as my boss, has been a career highlight. What does Nura Gili mean for you? Nura Gili means everything to me. It is not only a workplace but a place of friendship and close personal and professional relationships. We all have to work hard to maintain its special spirit .It is too important to lose You've been involved with Winter School for many years probably since its inception- can you share in your own words a little about the impact of this particular program? Winter school has been one of Nura Gili’s finest achievements made possible by the foresight of former Nura Gili director Sue Green and Assistant Director Jilda Simpson. I was speaking to Philip Coleman from UBS at our 2014 Winter School formal dinner about how UTS became our corporate sponsor of Winter School. The partnership developed from grass roots contact and first hand observation of the program by UTS executives. I think that there are valuable lessons to be drawn from this part of Nura Gili’s history Finally I would like to thank all those students, colleagues and friends throughout UNSW who have enriched my life by their presence. Interview with Rebecca Harcourt
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My name is Dominic Zahra and I am heading into my final semester of my Arts/Law degree. I participated in the Winter School program in 2009 and I have supervised the program on four occasions. I came to UNSW through the Pre-law program run by Nura Gili in 2009. This is an extract from Dominic Zahra’s -right- speech at 2014 Winter School Formal Dinner
My story starts in 2008. In July of 2008, I was taken to hospital after losing the feeling in my right arm. Within two days of being admitted to the hospital I had brain surgery. After this all happened my attitude towards studying had changed. I began to lose interest in school; all I wanted to do was stay at home and play Playstation. I wasn’t putting as much effort into my school work as I had before and I found myself doing just enough to get by. It was not until my mum told me to apply for Winter School that my attitude changed. Winter School was one of the most amazing experiences that I have had in my life. I ended the week with over 100 new friends from around Australia. Most of these people are now either studying at UNSW or a university in their hometown. I also ended the week with a new attitude towards my studies. I spent the week in the law faculty. It was here that I learnt that I was not only good at arguing, but I also wanted to study law. When I went back to school for my final term of year 12, I put my head in the books and made the most of the time that was left. I then applied and was selected for the Pre-Law program. These four weeks gave me a taste of what to expect during my law degree. We had four weeks of intense course work and assessments which helped me build a solid foundation for my first year of university. I will always remember what they said when offered me a place at UNSW at the end of the course, ‘you have earned this spot from all the hard work that you have put into this program’. The first year at uni was the hardest. When you walk into a classroom and they all start talking about how they got 99 in the ATAR, you start to feel as if you shouldn’t be in the class. If it wasn’t for my group of friends from Pre-programs and Winter School I would not have gotten through the first semester. It wasn’t until the end of the first semester when I received my results that I realised that I did belong at university. The confidence and skills that I have gained over the years from these great opportunities and experiences have enabled me to accomplish great things. I was involved in the creation of a baseball club in Redfern called the Redfern Red Sox. I have been lucky enough to be President of the club for the last three years. The skills I have developed from my law degree have enabled me to co-ordinate with various Government bodies and businesses for funding; I even helped write the clubs constitution. The highlight of this experience came earlier this year when the club was selected to participate in activities when the MLB came to Australia. This included a training session with both current and retired Major League players and the club developing a strong relationship with the Arizona Diamondbacks MLB team. I have also been lucky enough to be a working as a paralegal for Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 25
the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) for the last two years. Here I have further developed my legal skills in a variety of different areas. So what next? While my law degree is coming to a close, my time at UNSW isnâ€™t. I plan on coming back in 2015 and studying a Masters of Commerce. I am aiming to become the first Indigenous Australian Baseball General Manager. Once I reach that goal I plan on becoming the first Indigenous Australian Commissioner of Major League Baseball in America. I would not have been able to get to where I am today if it wasnâ€™t for Nura Gili. The staff at Nura Gili have been encouraging and supportive throughout this entire experience. I cannot thank them enough for all the hard work they have done, not just for me, but for all the students that they have helped over the years. Programs such as Winter School and Pre-Programs are an invaluable experience and I encourage anyone thinking of applying to do so. Dominic Zahra
U16s Redfern Red Sox with Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Image courtesy Dominic Zahra
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Congratulations to all the graduates today who were selected and participated in the Winter School Program this week. It is such a fantastic program, and a great achievement and you should all be very proud of yourselves. I’m sure you gained much valuable experience to take back home and I hope you are all now very excited to start the next chapter of your lives after high school. I have just completed a three-year Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at COFA, College of Fine Arts, which is the creative arts faculty at UNSW. I have been invited to share my journey over the last three years of my study and the move I had to make in order to pursue my aspirations in the arts.
Above Rebekah Treacy Winter School Graduation
My name is Rebekah Treacy and I am a Kija girl from the Kimberly region of Western Australia. I was born in Derby, a small town located on the edge of the King Sound in far North Western Australia, and made up of about 3,300 people. After six years of living in Derby we moved to the beautiful town of Broome where I grew up. For those of you who haven’t heard of Broome, it is a small town that is located on the coast about 2, 200km north of Perth, situated on the traditional lands of the Yawuru people.
Growing up in Broome was a lot of fun. My siblings and I practically lived in the trees: Mum would have to literally pull out the whip to get us to come down out of the trees and inside to shower and to do our homework before Dad got home. Apart from climbing trees, homework was one of my favorite things to do, believe it or not. I mean, what kid loves doing homework? I was a keen learner throughout primary school and my eagerness to learn made my Dad very excited. Unfortunately, he got a little too excited because as the years went by and to his great despair, I became a teenager. I lost interest in my studies and I no longer had an answer to the question that was asked so frequently throughout high school “what do you want to do when you leave school”. I had no idea, until one day my friends and I were approached by our art teacher who was desperately seeking students to take her year 10 elective class. We all decided that this would be an excellent opportunity and one that could not be missed, after weighing up our options that 1. We would all be together, 2. The art teacher was probably the most lenient and friendly teacher that taught at the school, which to us, meant that we could get away with a few things 3. There was no math’s involved 4. We would be doing art – how hard can it be right? And 5. Well, basically all of the above equates to one whole hour that we could look forward to each day because we could just use this class to goof off and play with paint. That didn’t happen. It ended up being harder than any of us had anticipated. The workload was full on and on top of the fact that we needed to be creative there was also a lot of theory involved. Fortunately and surprisingly though I figured out that I wasn’t quite lacking in the creative side, in fact I had come a long way from my stick figure drawing days. I quickly grew passionate about my art studies and Miss Helen my art teacher had to start physically removing me from the classroom. Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 27
So, with this newfound interest and my high school days coming to an end, I started looking at my possibilities, including different directions I could take after graduation. At this stage I still had no clue what I wanted to do career wise. One thing I knew for certain though was that I didn’t want to stay in Broome, as much as I loved my life and was completely comfortable, I felt that I needed to expand my knowledge and experiences and the only way I saw that I could do this was by changing the environment I had spent the last 12 years of my life in. In 2009 I attended a trip to Perth with my year 12 peers to explore the universities further but I wasn’t very interested in any in Perth so I started doing my own research into uni’s here in Sydney. I came across UNSW, Nura Gili and the COFA website and immediately decided that I had to move to Sydney in order to pursue the Fine Arts degree. COFA is a great college to attend if you want to develop your creative potential, whether in art, design, media, art education or art theory. My first year in Sydney really tested my weaknesses and strengths; it was the first time ever that my life had been exposed to change. I had to officially take matters in my own hands, away from the comfort and supervision of my parents, and the influences of my lifelong friends. Some of the challenges I faced included financial problems, as many university students can tell you, the workload at university, keeping motivated and wanting an equal balance between my social life and my studies. The biggest challenge I faced was getting used to how things worked in Sydney compared to Broome. After spending your whole life in a small town you become accustomed to your surroundings and it really is hard breaking away from those familiar ways. The process of moving away from home is as exciting as it is challenging and the change is refreshing. You meet so many people along the way who become some of the most influential figures in your life and the change allows you to realise you are capable of more than you ever imagined. I applied to study at UNSW at the end of 2010. Initially I sent an email to Bill Buckley Nura Gili Academic Support Coordinator who immediately responded I took his advice and applied directly through Nura Gili Indigenous Admissions Scheme. Shortly after I was invited for an interview with Bill and Sylvia Ross, the Head of School of Art at COFA, during which I was made to feel extremely comfortable. I was also required to sit a short test and after a few days I received a call notifying me that I can start preparing for studies in 2011, which was music to my ears. The move and transition from school to university were made easy because of the support I received from Nura Gili and COFA staff . As I’m sure you’ve all experienced during Winter School Nura Gili is like home away from home. Throughout my studies I always felt comforted knowing from experience how wonderful, prompt and welcoming the staff at Nura Gili was. Everyone is like family to each other, and both the students and staff are nothing but encouraging and supportive. They reach out to you on all levels, study related or personal making your university experience unforgettable. I would often email Cheryl Ah See whenever I had questions about anything and I would always have a same day response. Over on the COFA campus Tess Allas, Director of Indigenous Programs, a very inspiring lady went above and beyond all measures to ensure I was well supported every step of the way. There wasn’t a time throughout the three years of my course that I didn’t feel I couldn’t go and speak to Nura Gili and COFA staff if I wanted to. Now, after graduating from COFA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and with the help and advice given by the amazing Rebecca Harcourt from UNSW Business I want to return next year to undertake Postgraduate studies at UNSW Business. For those of you here today who aren’t a hundred per cent sure what you want to do as a career or the path to take after school, step one is finding out what it is you’re interested in and going from there. So many opportunities will open for you once you take the first leap. University life is such a great journey and nothing like school. Thinking of all the challenges I faced during the last four years of my studies really don’t compare to the excitement and joy of the university experience. Every day brought something new and I had no idea of all the things I was capable of doing until I conquered my first challenge which was hoping on the little plane from Broome and landing in Sydney. The support you receive is unreal and no matter how far home away Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 28
is for you whether it being one hour away or ten hours away, Nura Gili ensures you are well looked after all day, everyday. Everyone here today has something amazing to bring to the table and by being here in the Winter School Program; you have already made the first step, which will bring you closer to reaching your goals. You get out of life what you put in so it is important to overcome any obstacles that may be blocking you from making the most of what you have to offer to your community, to your country, your friends and family and most importantly to yourself. We are all given so much potential and it is up to us to decide how we wish to use it. You will not only graduate from your chosen course with a degree, but also come out at the end having formed lifelong friendships and unforgettable memories. At Nura Gili everyone walks in as strangers and out as family. The feeling of accomplishing what you set out to achieve is one of the best feelings ever. One thing that my dad said to me on my graduation day whilst I held my certificate in my hand that will forever be embedded in my mind is that “no one can ever take this away from you”. The degree you receive at the end of your chosen course will be because of your determination and hard work to succeed and the sacrifices and challenges will all be worth it in the end. So, in saying this I want to wish you all another big congratulations! And I really hope to see all hanging around UNSW and Nura Gili one day, pursuing your dreams and showing everyone what you’re capable of. Rebekah Treacy This an edited version of Rebekah Treacy’s speech at 2014 Winter School Graduation.
Left: Rebekah with her Dad at after her UNSW Graduation Ceremony graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Image courtesy of Rebekah Treacy
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‘Winter School was an exhausting yet fabulous week. As one of the night supervisors this year, I saw the best and the worst of this years’ participants, and loved every minute of it. I would like to thank all the participants for being amazing. In particular, thanks to my night group for actively participating in our elevator Jams. Every morning and night between ground floor and Brooke Street we were rock stars. The trivia night was a fantastic celebration of culture and teamwork. I am proud to say that my group, Lingari, cheered the loudest despite being ranked last for the majority of the competition. Another favourite memory of mine is Origin night- games of spoons and cheat galore were played by all the cool kids. I could go on. But I'll just finish by saying that I truly hope that this week has helped the participants grow as people, think seriously about university, feel proud about their culture and know that they will always have a family here in Sydney’ Jen Westbury Jen is currently studying Arts Law at UNSW This was her first time working as a night supervisor at Winter School. I was ecstatic to do my job and inspire all of these students. I wanted to show them what university life is like, and to emphasise just how rewarding university is for your career, life, and even identity. Many of my COFA (visual arts) students couldn't believe the amount of support that Nura Gili provides for every student, and seeing the looks on their faces at the end of the week was enough to tell me they were inspired to come to uni after high school. It was amazing to me to see these types of opportunities coming to the forefront of the students' minds. What really made me so happy was to see all of them being so accepting of each other at random moments of the week. On the very first day I saw kids discussing their hometowns and figuring out who lives close to them. I even met a couple students from my way and some whose parents knew my family. This feeling of relation, connecting through place, it's how we best strengthen our ties with each other, and it was unbelievable to be a part of that this year… I can’t draw or paint to save my life, and here are these brightly artistic, talented and inspiring kids, showing off and paving a way for their future careers in the visual art world. Rhyan Clapham Rhyan is in his final year studying a degree in Music at UNSW This was his first time working as a day supervisor at Winter School. Rhyan also performed at the Winter School Formal Dinner in 2013 and 2014 and this year was also interviewed on Bill’s panel.
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By Damian Shannon
Above L-R Alumni George Brown, current Nura Gili Medicine student Rebecca Davison with Alumni Damian Shannon at Winter School Formal Dinner
Iâ€™m proud to be an ambassador for the City of Sydney Eora Journey Prosperity Talk initiative. Eora Journey Prosperity Talk is part of the wider Sustainable Sydney 2030 initiative designed to support the City of Sydney becoming a global city in addressing the future demands of a growing city. Sustainable Sydney 2030 outlines a set of goals designed to make Sydney as green, global and connected as possible by 2030. This plan will transform the way people live, work and play within our city. During the Sustainable Sydney 2030 consultations, City of Sydney recognised the importance of providing economic opportunities for our Aboriginal residents and communities. The City of Sydney has heard very strongly from the community the need for further focus on our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, in recognising the importance of Aboriginal culture of Sydney and providing economic opportunities to our Indigenous residents and communities. Understanding how City of Sydney Council can best support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to develop a solid economic base is a critical part in addressing the broader challenges of health, housing, education and employment. At our last community meeting we talked about what prosperity means. We came to the conclusion that prosperity is more than economics. For a community to flourish it needs to develop a holistic viewpoint where everyoneâ€™s capabilities are fully utilised, and where economic development is improved simultaneously with social and cultural development. A concern that has been raised throughout the consultation process is the need for Indigenous people to shift the narrative; by sharing positive images and focusing on capabilities rather than deficiencies, in ensuring that Aboriginal history is interwoven within the nuances of the city.
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The Eora Journey Prosperity talk initiative is helping shift the narrative by ensuring the community’s voice is heard and their needs addressed. The consultation processes is designed so the outcomes are driven by the community. The information collected will contribute to the development of the Eora Journey Economic Development Plan which will form part of the boarder Economic Development Strategy is designed to strengthen the city’s economy and support business. It centres on further improving the solid foundations for success; creating opportunities for individuals, businesses, the community and future generations. The key aim of the consultations is to inform the City about what the economic development priorities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the city are. It is also an opportunity to review the programs, services and supports that are already in place and where the City of Sydney can play a greater role. One of the tag lines for Sustainable Sydney 2030 is ‘Give us the Vision’. So we want you to have your say on what ‘prosperity’ means to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as individuals and as a community. Register now to attend the prosperity talk community meetings or check out the website, Facebook and Twitter page. Let’s shift the narrative and talk prosperity! Damian Shannon BCOM, DPP Damian is currently working at John Holland Group.
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If you’re anything like me, you probably like to reflect on past experiences. I think it’s important to let go of daily stress every now and again and reflect on events that have brought us all to this present moment. Sorry, I know that sounded very Dalai-Lama-like, but all I ask of you now is this: sit back, relax and allow me, over the next few paragraphs, to take you back a couple years … The year is 2010 – the air is crisp and our society seems so much freer with Tony Abbott on the opposition bench. You thirsty? Well you can go grab yourself a bottle of coke for less than $1*. Life was pretty sweet back then wasn’t it? For me though, 2010 was extra-sweet, because I just entered the first year of my Arts/Law degree. I was super-keen back then to learn as much as I could about the ability of the law to bring about systematic change. Likewise, at the end of my first semester, I put my hand up to attend the National Indigenous Legal Conference in Canberra. The experience proved to be a big-eye opener for me: it is one thing to know about the systematic disadvantage that Indigenous peoples face, but another to start learning about ‘how’ the law can help make a difference. For me, knowledge is empowering and that’s exactly how I felt when I arrived back home - empowered. Luckily for me, I got to invest all that energy in Winter School: I’ll never forget some of the conversations I had with prospective law students about how they too wished to use the law one day to help their people. Winter School is a hearty program and nothing inspires me more than students who want to make a difference – whether that be in the fine Arts, through medicine, the education system or the law. I know it was short, but I hope you enjoyed your trip back to 2010, because now we’re coming back to reality .. Fast forward to 2014. Feeling thirsty again? Well I wouldn’t suggest buying a bottle of coke - you can probably score a nice bottle of champagne though that’s easier on the wallet.* The more things change though, the more they stay the same. Again, apologies for my Dalai-Lama phases. It is rather fitting though that I recently got to attend the World Indigenous Legal Conference in Brisbane. No offence to my brothers and sister from Canberra, but I think Brisbane managed to out-do you guys. Over a period of three days I attended a series of talks from Indigenous peoples around the world, including Chile, Canada and New Zealand. Topics included relationship to land, Indigenous knowledge, women and children, recognition of first’s nations peoples, economic independence, criminal justice and human rights. Like the experiences in Australia, these people gave a heartfelt account of the problems their people continue to face. And yet, despite this, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of comfort. I was amongst a group of friends and we all got to share our own unique stories; we got to learn from one another and we empowered each other. . Just like my first year, I got to bring all that energy back to Sydney in my role as Winter School supervisor. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly people bond during Winter School and how each of us can help make a difference to students who are thinking about a tertiary education. At the Winter School graduation ceremony I voiced my concern over people who never follow what they truly love doing: I told the participants to follow their hearts after high school. For me, doing what you love gives you an incredible sense of fulfilment. And, no, I’m not going to apologise for that final Dalai-Lama dialogue. Being in the fifth year of my degree is a special feeling though, and I’ve come realise how important it was that I attended those two conferences alongside Winter School. I hope all students get the same opportunities as me throughout their degrees and say ‘yes’ whenever they appear. *some information may have been altered for dramatic effect. By Corey Smith. Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 33
On the 9th and 10th of July, a very cold and windy Caltex Park in Dubbo, NSW, played host to the 2014 Nations of Origin for the second year running. Nations of Origin is an under 16's rugby league 7's tournament designed to promote reconciliation and cultural identity through education and sport. The event was initiated by PCYC NSW and is endorsed by NSWRL, NSWCRL and the NRL Indigenous Council. Around eight hundred young people, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal participated in the Nations of Origin, playing for one of the sixty-four teams in the tournament, which represented twenty-six Aboriginal nations from across NSW. Participants are required to have a 78% attendance rate at school to be eligible to play. Each team represents their local Aboriginal community by playing under traditional names, and wearing uniforms decorated with their Nation's totem. Nations of Origin Ambassador and former NRL player David Peachey says this event is more than just rugby league:
"Nations of Origin is about identity" he said, "the kids walk away from this finding out who they are and where they're from." All teams were required to attend the NRL's: 'Dream, Believe, Achieve' talk over the two days which taught the participants about the value of education and encouraged them to follow their dreams. The first day of the event also featured a careers expo where players and spectators were provided with information from universities and government organisations. Our Nura Gili stall saw kids and adults come through asking about courses and programs at UNSW and our yellow bags proved to be quite popular. Our experience of interacting with people throughout the day and encouraging them to further their education made the day more than worthwhile, even though the wind was against us and almost took the stall with it on several occasions.
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For the official opening of the tournament, each of the teams marched with flags showing their nation and their nation's totem before a Welcome to Country and traditional dance was performed by people of the host nation - Wiradjuri. The first day saw the teams compete in a round-robin competition within their pools. The talent on display was incredible. As soon as the games started, it was evident that we were watching some future superstars of rugby league. The second day included the knockout rounds, which meant teams had to win their games in order to progress further in the competition. It was even colder on day two and I commend the players for having the ability to walk around in shorts when the temperature was a very chilly 4 degrees. All of the finals were held on the main oval and the grandstand was full of people cheering on their mob. Before the boys' final, there was a 100m race with a member from each team. The winner of the girls' sprint was the standout. She left the rest of the players and made it look easy, just as she did last year. Hearing the crowd cheer and applaud for big hits and skilful tries during the finals really added to the excitement of them. The girls' competition was won by Darug West, who defeated Awabakal 24 to 12, and the Dharawal Whales took out the boys' competition with a 46 to 18 win over the local Wiradjuri Guuga's. Nations of Origin is a great initiative by the PCYC as a way of bringing Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people together. The games were great to watch as the athleticism shown by the players was incredible, and the whole event, which is expected to grow again in numbers next year, was very well organised and ran smoothly despite the freezing temperature. Overall, the tournament was a huge success and I look forward to returning to my country for the event again next year! by Monique Ah See Peachey Monique is in her second year studying Arts with a major in Media She is a Nura Gili Ambassador and emceed at the Winter School Graduation. Monique is currently doing an internship with the ABC. Celebrating our students, alumni, staff and programs across all our communities 35
Left: ASPIRE Rebekah Torrens and families from Condobolin .
ASPIRE has developed a joint initiative with the community organisation, the Western Plains Regional Development Inc. (WPRD), in the regional town of Condobolin. Through community consultation ASPIRE has established the ASPIRE Homework Centre, which runs two afternoons a week, to support high school students with their homework and assessments. A local high school teacher, Dale Gallagher, has been employed as the ASPIRE Homework Centre Coordinator, ASPIRE’s first regionally based staff member. Since the beginning of March, The Centre has assisted 17 students who have utilised the Centre on over 100 occasions. To promote the centre to the wider community, Rebekah Torrens and Vanessa Cali from ASPIRE, travelled to Condobolin and with big help from staff at the WPRD, held a community BBQ on Friday 30th May. Students from both the primary and high schools arrived straight after school and were treated to lots of fun activities. Heather Blackley, Youth Services Manager, with WPRD, painted faces, whilst Rebekah Torrens was on craft duties, creating ‘rain makers’ with the students. There was also a jumping castle, balloons and of course a sausage-sizzle. The BBQ was a good opportunity chat to families and local community members about ASPIRE and the Homework Centre. It was also great to meet the students who had only just found out they were accepted to Nura Gili Winter School! ASPIRE is a schools outreach program at UNSW that helps students discover higher education, when they might not think it is for them. ASPIRE works with 56 partner schools across metropolitan and regional NSW, running workshops and on-campus visits for students in Kindergarten to Year 12. For more information about the ASPIRE Homework Centre, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Right ASPIRE Homework Centre Coordinator Dale Gallagher cooking up a storm
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“I want students to walk away from us believing that they have the ability to be anything they want to be as long as they have a dream and they never give up” Leearna Williams.
Winter School -Built Environment 2014
Each year Nura Gili attends Indigenous and non-Indigenous careers expos and conducts our ‘Light and Fire’ presentations at schools and TAFEs as part of our Recruitment and Outreach activities. We travel throughout Sydney and across Regional NSW. The careers expos provide us with the opportunity to share information about Nura Gili and UNSW with prospective students and members of the community. Nura Gili invites schools, TAFEs, individuals and organisations to visit our Kensington campus where we conduct our presentation with you, including a tour of the UNSW campus. Visit us at Balnaves place- Home of Nura Gili and we will provide you with a great opportunity to learn firsthand more about Nura Gili’s programs, entry pathways and all about the different programs you can study with us Let us know if would like us to have a stall at or your school, TAFE, organisation or expo and if you would like to visit us here on campus Leearna Williams Nura Gili Student Recruitment Officer For more information please contact: Nura Gili on (02) 9385 3805 or email email@example.com
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The University of New South Wales (UNSW) is one of Australia's leading research and teaching universities, with 9 outstanding faculties that offer courses in a range of different study areas, UNSW is a great choice to undertake your degree. At UNSW, we take pride in the broad range and high quality of our teaching programs. Our teaching gains strength and currency from our research activities, strong industry links and our international nature; UNSW has a strong regional and global engagement. In developing new ideas and promoting lasting knowledge we are creating an academic environment where outstanding students and scholars from around the world can be inspired to excel in their programs of study and research. Partnerships with both local and global communities allow UNSW to share knowledge, debate and research outcomes. UNSW’s public events include concert performances, open days and public forums on issues such as the environment, healthcare and global politics. With 9 outstanding faculties, over 300 study areas, located in one of the best cities in the world, over 50,000 students from every country in the world and commitment to Indigenous education and research ‘make UNSW your first choice’ Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Arts and Social Sciences is a recognised leader in arts, social sciences and, humanities teaching and research. With leading academics and industry experts, we offer you professionally relevant degrees and internationally recognised research opportunities. Study Areas: Arts, Australian Studies, Criminology, Dance, English, Film, History, International Studies, Indigenous Studies, Journalism, Languages and Linguistics, Media, Music, Performing Arts, Philosophy, Politics and International Relations, Secondary Education, Social Science, Social Work, Sociology and Anthropology, Theatre and Performance Studies. arts.unsw.edu.au UNSW Business Recognised as one of the top business schools in Australia, our business degrees have been designed for the very best students, and suit a variety of career aspirations and interests. We offer you a flexible and creative teaching environment that ensures learning is cutting edge, and will connect you with some of Australia’s leading business experts to support your professional ambitions. Study Areas: Accounting, Actuarial Studies, Business Law, Economics, Finance, Human Resource Management,Information Systems, International Business, Marketing and Taxation..
The Australian School of Business (ASB) has been renamed ‘UNSW Business School’ asb.unsw.edu.au Faculty of Built Environment Built Environment is where the brightest students from around the world converge to study design, planning, construction, management and impacts of man-made buildings and infrastructure. We focus on the design, management and delivery of the 21st-century city and all its landscape, interiors, urban fabric and industrial design. Study Areas: Architectural Computing, Architectural Studies, Construction Management and Property, Industrial Design, Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Planning be.unsw.edu.au
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UNSW Art & Design As Australia’s premier Art, Design and Media school, will help you unleash your creative potential, develop your skills and carve a niche that will set you up for a successful life as a professional artist. Study Areas: Art, Art Education, Art History, Design, Media Arts, Fine Arts UNSW COFA’ is currently altering its name to ‘UNSW Art & Design’. The new name 'UNSW Art & Design' acknowledges the longstanding and growing importance of ‘design’ in what we do, and also continues to include ‘art’ in our public name .
cofa.unsw.edu.au Faculty of Engineering The Faculty of Engineering at UNSW is the largest in Australia, with the widest range of undergraduate degree choices, numerous scholarships and strong links to industry. We offer you 26 undergraduate degrees as well as several dual degrees. You will have the opportunity to take part in various student-led projects such as building solar cars; designing formula-style racing cars; and competing in the international Robocup soccer league. Our graduates are professionally accredited to work in Australia and around the world, and are offered jobs in the private sector, consulting, finance, government, academia and more. Study Areas: Biomedical Engineering, Bioinformatics, Chemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Mining Engineering, Software Engineering, Surveying and Spatial Information Systems, Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering Petroleum Engineering eng.unsw.edu.au Faculty of Law UNSW Law School offers the highest-rated law degree in Australia. Founded over 40 years ago, we constantly strive to lead and inspire change through public engagement and outstanding research. We will enable you to apply a rigorous, socially-responsible legal education to a diversity of careers. Study Areas: Law law.unsw.edu.au UNSW Medicine UNSW Medicine is one of Australia’s largest and most prestigious medical schools and offer innovative and unique teaching with links to some of Australia’s leading teaching hospitals, in both urban and rural NSW. We have an enviable track record in cutting-edge medical research and provide facilities that are world class. The Bachelor of Exercise Physiology is a recent addition to the Faculty’s well-established six-year undergraduate Medicine curriculum leading to the awards of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB BS). Study Areas: Medicine, Exercise Physiology med.unsw.edu.au Faculty of Science The Faculty of Science offers specialist degrees such as Psychology, Optometry, and Medicinal Chemistry, as well as degrees that allow students to explore the breadth of science before selecting a major. If you have a curious mind, want to learn from world renowned researchers and need a degree that is relevant to current issues, look no further than Science at UNSW Study Areas: Anatomy, Aviation, Biology and Biotechnology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Ecology, Food Science, Genetics, Geography, Marine Science, Materials Science, Mathematics and Statistics, Medical Science, Nanotechnology, Neuroscience, Optometry and Vision Science Pathology, Pharmacology, Physics, Psychology, Physiology science.unsw.edu.au Australian Defence Force Academy (UNSW Canberra) At the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) in Canberra, UNSW offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, engineering, science, and technology as part of training for midshipmen and officer cadets of the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Study Areas: Arts, Business, Engineering, Science unsw.adfa.edu.au
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Nura Gili provides pathways to learning opportunities that embrace Indigenous knowledge, culture and histories. Nura Gili strives for excellence in educational services and works towards assuring participation and access to all the programs it offers. The staff and students at Nura Gili support community outreach programs to actively spread the message of the availability of tertiary studies. Staff and students also work to promote the centrality of arts, culture and heritage for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples - throughout UNSW and the wider community. The words Nura Gili are from the language of the Eora Nation, Nura meaning â€˜place' and Gili meaning â€˜fire/light'. Nura Gili at UNSW brings together these concepts to create the meaning â€˜place of fire and light'. The theme of place remains important to the many cultures of Indigenous Australia. The University of New South Wales acknowledges and recognises the very place that we have all come together to work, share, study and learn as the traditional lands of three separate Aboriginal communities: the Bedegal ( Kensington campus), Gadigal (City and College of Fine Arts Campuses) and the Ngunnawal people (Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra). The site of UNSW is located near an 8000 year old campsite around which the people of the area taught culture, history and subsistence. From an age old past through to the present the site holds significance as a place for gathering, meeting, teaching and sharing. The concept of a fireplace and fire in general reflects the warm, relaxed and nurturing environment created by age-old fires many years ago, and recreated today by the staff and students of Nura Gili. The shared inspiration , drive and purpose for the staff and students of Nura Gili is that they belong to a community on campus where there is a fire burning, where people come together to share, as has been done for thousands of years. Nura Gili values the potential that education can offer, and with the theme of the fireplace in mind, we invite Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to gather, learn and share together, to light a torch of their own, to guide them, and light their way as they create their own journey.
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Published on Jul 29, 2014
Enjoy all the stories in this month’s edition traversing far and wide. I hope on reading this month’s edition you also begin to feel renewed...